Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I Biked to Work Today
From Brooklyn, NY to Manhattan. Over the Brooklyn Bridge.

This seemed like an excellent idea six hours ago. Now, I can't feel feel my butt and my legs are screaming at me.

Back in January John wanted us all to join the Y so we could get healthy together. Here's the thing about joining a gym: I'm not going to go. I just know I'm not. First, I would have to go at a very ungodly hour in the morning OR go at night, around the time most people are getting ready to go to bed. Its just the reality of my schedule. And I'm good with that.

I had a $10 gift card to use at LL Bean, which I decided I would put towards a backpack. The past couple of summers we've gone on hikes and I'm the moron who is carrying her purse around in the woods. A leather purse isn't really all that practical in the woods, no matter how much it holds. I reasoned that I could used it on the weekends we are camping, while hiking and while just running around. Then I had the epiphany that if I couldn't join a gym I could bike to work, and then I could use the backpack on these rides to hold a fresh change of clothes and my other stuff.

And that was the extent of my preparation for commuting by bicycle to work. I bought a backpack and got it $10 cheaper. As you may have guessed, this not preparation whatsoever.

Today, when the Weather Channel said it was going to be 61 degrees in NYC, I decided right then and there that today would be the maiden voyage.

I packed a clean shirt in The Backpack and skipped the yoga pants since I didn't want to run into anyone at work while wearing them (they have a big grease stain from a grilled cheese sandwich....not very professional looking). I opted to wear my nice jeans, the ones which have stubbornly gotten tighter over the course of the winter. I don't know why. (Oh wait...I do. I think it's called "grilled cheese on rye." Also, "cheesecake.")

I dropped Harry at school and took off. My little map from said it would take about 39-52 minutes starting from our house. I started 6 blocks closer and it took me 64 minutes and was therefore late to work. (I should be happy that I got in 64 minutes of cardio this morning but I'm just thrilled that my helmet didn't totally kill my hair.) Half way over the bridge, as all the other bikers were zooming past me in their sleek biking pants (jerks!) I wanted to go home. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore and nearly gave up, I was zooming down the other side of the bridge. Still, the bikers in there sleek, impossibly small bike pants were zooming past me. (I hate them. Every last one of them.) Then I had to maneuver in the downtown Manhattan traffic which wasn't as bad as I thought (although my mother is right now having a coronary thinking about me doing this. Hi MOM!). I gave one cabbie a look that said "GO AHEAD. MAKE MY DAY." He held off making that left turn until I crossed the West Side Highway. Finally, I got to the riverside park where there is a dedicated bike path. A long, long bike path that just stretches on and on. It is the longest leg of the trip and when I could finally see my office building, it still a long way away. Impossibly far. So far that I considered taking the subway the rest of the way. But I persevered.

I decided to walk the last block in an effort to cool down a little before having to enter the building, which was one of the better ideas I'd had all morning. This gave me time to walk on wobbly legs behind some shrubbery so no one at the office would see me in case I keeled over. Still the bikers zoomed past.

My bike is locked up downstairs and across the street, just waiting for me to retrieve it so I can do this ridiculous thing all over again at the end of the day. A coworker told me that if the commute is 13 miles round trip, I'm conceivably burning 100 calories a mile (on average, perhaps more with the uphill part of the bridge) which means in one day, I'm burning at least 1300 calories. I might be able to get behind this idea. Once the feeling in my posterier returns.


Anonymous Mel said...

You're a bigger, braver, tougher woman than me. Good Job! You will be so happy when it's bikini season That's a little joke since I haven't worn a bikini sine the last century, but good job nonetheless.

Blogger Andie said...

like Mel are brave. I don't want to ride around SI & you did Manhattan...yikes!

Anonymous mom said...

OMG You didn't do this for real did you? Had a coronary, now dead!

Blogger CatMar said...

Good for you. I wish I had the conviction to ride a bike for that many miles nd burn up that many calories.

Anonymous Vikki said...

I am very impressed. Very.

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